Mugged by a pair of Minke whales. Also: plenty of humpbacks and beaucoups dolphins.

Bob Perrywhale watching california

A very friendly Minke whale is seen in the clear, blue water of the Santa Barbara Channel.

2021 07-08 SB Channel

Captain Dave and his crew report sunny skies and flat seas all day as the bisected the Channel from Santa Barbara to near Santa Rosa Island in search of wildlife. We closely watched: 5 humpback whales, 3 Minke whales, 3000+ long-beaked common dolphins and retrieved 3 dead Mylar balloons from the ocean surface.

Just 4 miles southwest of the harbor entrance we were approached by a pair of large, adult Minke whales. They made a series of very close approaches to the Condor Express including a few instances of rolling over right next to our twin hulls. It was a relatively rare and exciting encounter that helped get the sightings for the day rolling. A third Minke was observed soon after the mugging.

There were scattered groups of dolphins all day long, starting with the Minke whale area. Most were busy feeding on various sized patches of northern anchovies and were, per usual, accompanied by lots of hungry sea birds. Dave continued on his heading towards Santa Rosa Island as the dolphin pods continued to ride our waves.

Moving a bit northeast and close to the mid-Channel region we encountered 2 single humpback whales (with dolphins), followed quickly by 2 more singles, then, about a mile away, a 5th humpback was watched. There were a few instances of surface vocalization (trumpet blows) and plenty of nice tail flukes were seen to keep the ID scientists busy.

You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
Bob Perry
Condor Express, and